Making use of the National VET Repository

Educational Technology3 Comments


Last year I made some preliminary investigating how we might make better use of resources available in the National VET Repository. This is a repository of learning objects and toolboxes that have been built over many years to support specific industry vocational demands across Australia.

As a lot of vocational content within the national training system requires relative uniformity in delivery and assessment, there has been a long history of generic content development to stop reinvention of the wheel across the training system. As well when toolboxes or learning objects have been modified or newly developed by an RTO, they have sometimes been given back to the national repository. Over time thousands of learning objects have entered the fully searchable repository. All the resources use the SCORM or IMS standard to make them easily transferable between Learning Management Systems.

With so many resources available it surprised me that there seemed to be few of these free resources used at RMIT, given that we are one of Australia’s largest training providers, and that they could be more readily made available. I may be wrong here, if you are using or have repurposed content from the VET repository please let us know in the comments below. I set about trying to see if they were useable in our LMS only to find with the help of a Blackboard specialist, that it was impossible to embed them. I did on the way find that SCORM objects can be embedded into Google Apps with relative ease.

That wasn’t the end of the story.  We later had a request about uploading Captivate projects into BlackBoard. Thanks to Mark Smithers there is a way of doing this that doesn’t rely on the SCORM implementation in BlackBoard. It relies on the fact that when you publish a Captivate project you are given the option to create a zip file. (Incidentally you are also given the option to publish as SWF or HTML. Mark suggests to always choose HTML).

The zip file contains all of the files needed to play the output. You can upload this zip file to the files area of the BlackBoard shell. For some reason, unknown to anyone, the option is called “Upload Theme Package” in our installation of Bb but is called “Upload zip file” in every other instance of Bb of which we are aware.

Once uploaded the file is automatically unzipped. It’s best to do this in a new folder. You can then go to a content area in your Blackboard shell and select Create > File. You then give the file a name and use the Browse the course button to find the index.html file in the folder you created. You can change the display settings at this point as well. And that’s it, you’ve uploaded a Captivate project and  made it available to learners.

Below is a video that shows these steps. Thanks again to Mark for help solving the puzzle.



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Kevin Francke
4 years ago

I use Captivate quite a bit for creating screen capture projects and similar, and have also experimented with creating quizzes but wasn’t sure where/how to host them until I saw Marks tutorial.
I am keen to learn more about the next phase of this process, which is the collection of responses to a captivate quiz uploaded to Bb (for grading etc).
Any chance of organising a workshop (or similar) on this issue?

Mark Smithers
4 years ago
Reply to  Kevin Francke

Hi Kevin, I’ll give it a go. I’ve just written a SCORM quiz for someone in Art. I started it in Captivate but I had to stop and do it in Storyline instead because Captivate was just running way to slowly on my machine for reason. It was unworkable. With Storyline published it as a SCORM 1.2 package (Bb didn’t like xAPI). The SCORM worked fine. Created a results column in Grade Centre. The grades from the final screen in the package get inserted when the student closes the SCORM window. If I can Captivate working properly this week I’ll… Read more »